OneDrive adds 'Albums,' will soon add automatic photo import from PC

The company announced new organization features for grouping photos and getting snapshots from Windows 8.

A photo album being generated within Microsoft OneDrive's new Albums feature.

A photo album being generated within Microsoft OneDrive's new Albums feature.

Microsoft has launched an Albums feature for organizing photos stored on its OneDrive cloud service, bringing it one step closer to parity with competitors Dropbox and Google.

Albums, described in a company blog post Wednesday, will give users functionality similar to Dropbox's Carousel photo gallery app and Google Drive's built-in albums feature. It will appear on the OneDrive iOS app beginning today, and on Android and Windows phone apps "soon," the post said.

Sometime next month, the company plans to add automatic photo import features for current Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, similar to those launched for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone users last July. With this feature, OneDrive will roll out a new "Camera imports" folder as the location for automatic photo imports from PCs and smartphones instead of directing them to the "All photos" folder.

OneDrive albums are fairly straightforward: You select a group of related photos, create an album similar to how you'd create a folder for documents, and give the new album a name. Photos within an album are given special, gallery-like treatment, with larger thumbnails, narrower margins, and a display page all to themselves, omitting most of the gadgets and controls that normally accompany a OneDrive documents page.

For now, photos albums aren't automatically generated in the way that Dropbox Carousel does, by checking photo tags for date stamps and location data. But Microsoft Research is adding a feature that will enable OneDrive to automatically tag photos based on their content (for example, "dogs" and "sunsets"), OneDrive Group Program Manager Douglas Pearce said in the blog post.

The technology used in this automatic tagging detects patterns within photographs, and applies neural network algorithms to relate those patterns to others already found to pertain to specific categories.

Tagged photos can be shared with others through a feature that automatically generates layouts of related photos, and emails them to the user so that they can be forwarded as attachments. Microsoft said the tagging feature would be available next month.

For its first day, Albums did work well in tests early Wednesday afternoon. However, it mysteriously disappeared from the OneDrive menu an hour later, along with the album that was created, although the photos inside that album remained in storage.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Douglas PearceMicrosoftcloud computinginternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scott M. Fulton III

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?